Loco Moco & You Better Be Hungry!

Why, it’s a veritable layered heart attack on a plate.

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Every drive-in restaurant, diner, plate lunch wagon, hole in the wall eatery – any fast food joint worth it’s salt serves a Loco Moco. Everyone has their favorite and they may vary slightly, but the basics are the same.

Here goes:

  1. Stack TWO grilled or fried hamburger steaks on top 2 scoops of sticky white rice
  2. Add TWO fried eggs on top
  3. Finally douse the whole thing with artery clogging brown gravy

Sometimes there is a scoop of macaroni salad on the side. It’s possibly the most delicious creation ever stumbled upon, but you better be lying down or able to get horizontal very quickly because it’s gonna be nap time right after you’re pau!

Aloha, Mike
RE/MAX Pacific

On Island: 885-5557
Toll Free: 800-500-4895
My Sell Phone: 808-896-1943
MikeSells.com
WestHawaiiBlog.com
Mike@MikeSells.com

Developer Proposes Roundabout for Waikoloa

Waikoloa Mauka LLC, developer of a proposed 398 lot subdivision off Waikoloa Road and mauka (towards the mountain) of the existing Waikoloa Village, known as Waikoloa Highlands, seems to be making headway with both the County and the Waikoloa Village Association having downzoned an adjacent parcel which will likely eliminate a 2nd (and competing) golf course and also addressing traffic issues, saying “Waikoloa Mauka LLC is committed to mitigating a potentailly dangerous intersection at Paniolo Drive and Waikoloa Road” and is proposing a roundabout to calm traffic at the intersection.

I think this is a great idea! Roundabouts are common all over Europe and they have proven to keep traffic flowing in a safer and more aesthetic manner. roundabout-madrid.jpg Except for the one at Mauna Lani Resort, I don’t know of any others on the Big Island.

Though the one pictured here is in Madrid, my first memory of a roundabout was in front of the Coliseum in Rome. Driving in Italy is harrowing at best, and in the cities you can multiply that by a factor of fifteen! Everything you’ve ever heard about hot-headed Italian drivers – honking horns and exhibiting the most descriptive sign language imaginable is true, and driving the roundabout at the Colisuem can only be described as an absolute free for all! Had it not been for that roundabout, traffic there would have been gridlocked long before that word was coined into the English language.

Studies have illustrated roundabouts have a traffic calming affect. They also reduce crashes and provide a much safer pedestrian environment with fewer possible conflict points and therefore, fewer accidents. Because you can landscape the center area with schrubs, flowers and fountains, aesthetics can be greatly improved too.

So with Big Island traffic getting more and more bogged down we have to start thinking out of the box -no pun intended, and go ROUND!

Aloha, Mike

On Island: 885-5557
Toll Free: 800-500-4895
My “Sell” Phone: 808-896-1943
MikeSells.com
WestHawaiiBlog.com
Mike@MikeSells.com

The Dog Ate My Homework (if you buy that)

I know it’s a flimsy excuse – “The dog ate my homework” line. And really I don’t have an excuse except I’ve been busy having received ten, that’s right 10 offers on my price reduction in Waikoloa Village, (for photos and more information go to MLS#195149). It is the lowest priced house in a long time and nearly $50,000 less than the nearest competitor.

To make a long excuse short, that’s why I am late in my monthly Least Expensive & Most Expensive update. So here goes:

TODAY IN WAIMEA:

  • 92 homes on the market
  • 35 are less than or equal to $500,000
  • The least expensive = $329,500
  • The most expensive = $7,000,000 (last month’s $35M property sold for $29M)
  • The highest days on market (DOM)= 579

IN WAIKOLOA:

  • 99 homes on the market
  • 27 are less than or equal to $500,000
  • The least expensive = $350,000
  • The most expensive = $895,000
  • The highest days on market (DOM)= 707

IN KOHALA:

  • 27 homes on the market
  • 7 are less than or equal to $500,000
  • The least expensive = $334,000
  • The most expensive = $25,000,000
  • The highest days on market (DOM)= 810

For more information on any of these areas or to fill in the blanks between the least expensive and the most expensive, just call or email me!

Aloha, Mike
RE/MAX Pacific

On Island: 885-5557
Toll Free: 800-500-4895
My “Sell” Phone: 808-896-1943
MikeSells.com
WestHawaiiBlog.com
Mike@MikeSells.com

What Constitutes a Bidding War?

I have heard this term bidding war mis-used several times in relation to the house we recently reduced in MLS to $350,000 from the original listing price of $485,000 (for photos and more info go to MLS #195149).

That’s a huge drop and there has been a lot of response as you would expect, but I’ve heard from more than one agent,

“My client is interested in your property, but doesn’t want to get into a bidding war.”

I have to tell them “Now hold on. What’s a bidding war?”

A bidding war would be like at an auction where the auctioneer yells out “Okay, I’ve got $10,000 for the ‘Around the World’ ticket. Who will give me $10,500?” and so on. In other words you know everyone else’s bid and you decide if you want to go higher. You know the highest price offered and what you have to do to beat it. Then you just have to decide what value the item has for you personally, and if it’s higher than the last guy’s, you go for it.

In my world as a Realtor representing clients my job and fiduciary responsibility (in this case, to the sellers) is to secure for them the highest price at the best possible terms. I would not be doing that if I say, “Oh gee, the best price we have so far is ‘bla, bla, bla, so you only have to top that”.

What if that party saw some unique value in the property (like they need it for a key employee they were going to lose otherwise -or whatever) and were prepared to go much higher than the list price? By offering information that I am not authorized to make public (like the highest bid on the table, for instance) I jeopardize my sellers chances of getting a better price for the property. I just don’t do it. It would also be a breach of ethics, my ethics personally as well as the Realtor Code of Ethics we all subscribe to.

So let’s make it clear. Unless and until the property closes escrow I will (and am obligated, by Hawaii statue) to present all offers to the sellers, and at no time will there be a bidding war because nobody will be privy to information contained in any other offer received.

Aloha, Mike
RE/MAX Pacific

On Island: 885-5557
Toll Free: 800-500-4895
My “Sell” Phone: 808-896-1943
MikeSells.com
WestHawaiiBlog.com
Mike@MikeSells.com

Swimming Upstream? – Yeah, Like a Fox!

Going against the tide of most mega resorts with the latest and greatest gadget, twist or turn, wifi this or that to entice visitors, Kona Village on the Big Island’s Gold Coast delights in protraying itself as a place to be “disconnected”.

They tout a steady 68% repeat business, so I guess it works! There are no televisions, radios or clocks in Kona Village Resort’s 125 thatched-roof hales. Quite simply it’s a place to do nothing. Except of course, read a book, scuba dive, nap in a hammock or go fishing. You know, all those wonderful vacation things that don’t require a cell phone, Blackberry or computer. And while renovation plans are in the works for Kona Village, originally built in the 1970s when there was no highway connecting the resort to any major road or you flew in or came by boat, general manager Ulrich Kramer says,

“We don’t need to add the word ‘spa’ to the end of our name, because the whole resort is a spa.”

So why not consider the Gold Coast’s Kona Village on your next trip to the Big Island, whether moving to the Big Island, relocating to Hawaii or just doing business in Kona?

Aloha, Mike

On Island: 885-5557
Toll Free: 800-500-4895
My “Sell” Phone: 808-896-1943
MikeSells.com
WestHawaiiBlog.com
Mike@MikeSells.com

Huge Upset For Kohala Cowboys

I have always like the Kohala Cowboys -they’re scrappers. They’re not the biggest size-wise, whether you’re talking football or basketball the kids are generally smaller in stature than opposing teams, but THEY HAVE HEART AND THEY NEVER GIVE UP! I remember years ago watching the Cowboy basketball team run circles around bigger kids and win on speed and agility.

But today we’re talking gridiron and last night the Kohala Cowboys beat the Konawaena Wildcats for the FIRST TIME IN 35 YEARS! Not only that, they did it on Koanwaena’s turf, Julian R. Yates Field.

Kohala High School athletic teams don’t often win BIIF Championships, but they always make their opponents work hard and they sometimes come out on top. This says a lot for such a small school without the depth that say a Hilo High School or Konawaena always has just because their school population is so much bigger. The Kohala Cowboy athletes (and Cowgirls too!) are more than likely multi-sport paticipants with the coaches always striving to fill their roster.

Kohala quarterback Blaise Kise connected with Kohala senior, Zeke Perry midway through the 4th quarter for the winning Cowboy touchdown. First year coach, Billy Rodriques was ecstatic with this win saying,

“These guys worked so hard this week. Words can’t describe how happy I am with this win”.

Never mind size, stature or anything else, these guys will all be BMOC come Monday morning!

If you are moving to the Big Island or moving to Kohala, you’ll find without any professional sports and very limited access to college sports on the island, that we love our high school teams. You can’t imagine the fun you will have if you hook up to the local teams and become a fan.

Aloha, Mike

On Island: 885-5557
Toll Free: 800-500-4895
My “Sell” Phone: 808-896-1943
MikeSells.com
WestHawaiiBlog.com
Mike@MikeSells.com

Greek Style Garbanzo Salad

You know how sometimes you see a recipe in print and it looks so ono? In Hawaii by the way, ONO describes food as delicious, as in

“Ho, dis chicken is so ono!”

Well, this one grabbed me like that. I could just tell from the ingredients I’d like it. And it has the added benefit of being good for you too. Since GARBANZO BEANS are the main ingredient in this recipe, it provides a lot of that needed fiber (24-38 grams are recommended daily) to stay healthy.

(HINT: I make the garbanzos from dry beans in the pressure cooker and they taste ever so much better, but watch out because a cup of dried beans seems to turn into about three! When that happens I make homemade hummas, but I’ll save that for a future recipe posting.)

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Anyway here goes on the Greek Style Garbanzo Salad -

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 Cups cooked (1/2 dry) or 15 0z. can of garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1/2 Cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/2 Cup diced tomato
  • 1/2 Cup chopped green pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. rice vinegar (apple cider in okay too
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 Tsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • Pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Let marinate it at room temperature for several hours, then refrigerate. Note, this salad is very versatile and you can easily add baby lettuce leaves, red peppers, or whatever strikes your fancy!

Please let me know if you like this recipe and feel free to share one of your favorites with us and our readers!

Aloha, Mike

On Island: 885-5557
Toll Free: 800-500-4895
My “Sell” Phone: 808-896-1943

www.MikeSells.com
www.WestHawaiiBlog.com

Commissions and Why I Never Cut Off My Fingers and Toes Initially

You know it sort of frys my butt (pardon my French -it could have been worse!). When the market was hot and heavy sellers beat us down on the commission regularly, saying “How can you justify making that much money?” (I want to come back with, “How can you ask that price?”).

Some agents, particularly those needing the business, part-timers or newbies may consider doing so, and NEVER FORGET -EVERY THING IS NEGOTIABLE. And those same sellers will be the first to expect a commission break when the market is crappy even though we’re still working our tails off just to generate showings. And of course, we’re still advertising like crazy and working the 40++ a week to keep the pipeline full and pay the bills.

So this morning when I was asked that question after the seller’s prelude, “I’ve seen your ads for years, I know you’re good and you know the market in that area, but will you work with me on the commission?”, my response was this:

“I never cut off my fingers and toes going into a listing or a transaction because I don’t know what I’ll have to give up or chop on the back end.”

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Over the course of several years in the business I have had to buy refrigerators, washers and dryers, pay to have cesspools pumped and covered the cost of surveys, just to name a few. I do these things to make a deal work for everyone. They may seem insignificant, but when you get right down to the wire and these things come up, they can be absolute show-stoppers. Either the buyer and seller (or both!), at this point feels like they have given as much as they can or want to. They dig their heels in and it can get ugly. This is where you need someone willing to step up and make the deal work.

Does this mean I never give on commissions? No, but it has to make sense. Has this client done business with me in the past? Are they likely to in the future? Or are they in a position to refer new business to me? And, yes I am human, and sometimes I just like someone and maybe it was an easy transaction. Some clients are a dream to work with and you want to reward them. In this market, there are sellers who really are taking a hit, so I like to be able to offer them a pleasant surprise in the way of a professional courtesy. But those things have to be at your discretion and at the end when all the other chop-chop-chopping is done! So whether you are a buyer or seller, someone moving to the Big Island, or relocating to the Big Island please keep this in mind. Don’t worry be happy!

That’s my Tip of the Day and I’m sticking to it!
happyfaceunderpalm.jpg

Aloha, Mike

On Island: 885-5557
Toll Free: 800-500-4895
My “Sell” Phone: 808-896-1943
MikeSells.com
WestHawaiiBlog.com
Mike@MikeSells.com

Mega-Price Adjustment Gets The Phone Ringing

Wow, this is fun! Nothing like a $135,000 price drop to get the old phone ringing!

My side of the conversation goes something like this:

“No, it is not a major fixer-upper,
yes, you still have a chance.
We’ll be accepting offers for 1 week. Please submit buyer credit approval and proof of funds with your offer.
I’ll be holding open house this afternoon from 3-5 PM.
See you there!”

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After weeks of working on the sellers educating them on the market and especially in the face of mounting competition in inventory and pricing, they finally decided to get serious! What was $485,000 last week is now priced at $350,000. All offers are subject to Short Sale approval by the lenders involved.

You can take advantage of this oportunity too. And you thought you may never be able to move to the Big Island! Call me (808-896-1943) for more informtion or directions to the OPEN HOUSE. This 3 bedroom, 2 bath home of 1,520 sf has a 2-car garage and is located in Waikoloa Village. To view this property online, go to MLS# 195149 or call me.

Aloha, Mike

On Island: 885-5557
Toll Free: 800-500-4895
My “Sell” Phone: 808-896-1943
MikeSells.com
WestHawaiiBlog.com
Mike@MikeSells.com

You Can Kiss Me on a Sunday, a Monday . . .

Whoa, wait a minute, I lost myself there for a second. You may be able to kiss me, or you may not. Most of you MAY NOT! But what got me on that train of thought -I really can’t say. What I do want to say is this – Don’t plan to close your property purchase on a Monday.

Here’s why. To record (record in Hawaii means to close, i.e., your deed records in the Bureau of Conveyances located in Honolulu) on a Monday means you will need to have had all your funds -that’s a heap of clams, in escrow’s possession by at least the previous Friday. Now the escrow companies may not like me to point this out, but guess who earns the interest on those thousands of dollars? Not you, not the seller, nor the Realtor. No, escrow collects the dough. Now you may think, how much can it be? It’s only over the weekend. And that’s correct, but multiply that by many, many real estate transactions in the course of a year and it adds up.

In reality it likely does not matter to you and you may say, “What the heck, the escrow company has a right to make a living and that’s true, but that aside, closing on a Monday also sets you up for delays if there is a snag anywhere else in the last minute processing of a typical closing, and trust me, there are many. You may be the seller and the Purchase Contract had a Monday closing date which at the time of acceptance seemed okay to you, but now when you’re down to the nitty-gritty it suddenly dawns on the buyer, “Hey, I’m cashing in my CDs early to have my funds in escrow and I don’t even earn interest over the weekend! I want to extend closing”. So here you go, you’ve got the house cleaners lined up, the movers already packing, the final pest spraying scheduled and NOW they want to extend?? And if you really want to see things complicated, throw one of the many Hawaii State holidays (Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Day, Statehood Day or the “We’re tired, we already worked 4 days this week, Day” – or whatever) in the mix and you’re really up against the wall. You can kiss off any semblence of order or planning.

Long story short, just go for a mid-week closing and make your life a little easier!

That’s my Tip of the Day and I’m sticking to it!
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Aloha, Mike

On Island: 885-5557
Toll Free: 800-500-4895
My “Sell” Phone: 808-896-1943
MikeSells.com
WestHawaiiBlog.com
Mike@MikeSells.com

Herding Cats to Solve The Over-Supply Problem

Okay yes, I lie awake at night thinking these things up, but I’m convinced this one would work! It’s the answer to the common seller lament, “What price would make it sell?” or “What can we do to make buyers want it?”

Here’s the plan, but first you have to promise not to send the “Anti-Trust police” down on me for brainstorming because for this to work we’d need total participation from all Realtors and I’d sooner herd cats for gosh sakes!

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Which is too bad, because I know it would work so just humor me and let’s just fantasize for a minute. Here’s the deal. Every seller agrees to withdraw their properties from the market immediately, creating instant scarcity.

Realtors new to the business in the last year or so have never seen that scarcity, but I have and more than once. There were times when there just wasn’t any inventory. Then buyers would clamor and fall all over themselves to buy over-priced properties, none of which met their original “wish-list” criteria.

And now, go figure-there’s a ton of good buys and no takers. Sellers are offering all kinds of incentives; bonuses to agents, credits for closing costs, paid maintenance fees, interest rate buy-downs, etc., etc. And nothing seems to matter. Buyers are sitting on their thumbs.

But back to my plan. Obviously we need some inventory, so we do a lottery and pick 5 -ONLY five, listings in each area. And sellers, to be included in the drawing have to agree to lower the price to within 2% of the most recent sold comp. If their lucky number gets picked to be one of the 5 properties for sale and they don’t like the mandatory price reduction, they automatically go to the end of the line and another seller gets a chance. Every time a property goes into contract, we draw another number. What do ya think? Can we move some property? I think maybe we could. To spice things up we could say if you were willing to drop your price more than the 2% you get even better consideration in the lottery draw. And for Pete’s sake NEVER, NEVER, NEVER advertise a Price Reduction! That only reinforeces buyer’s “let’s wait awhile longer” attitude. Follow these simple guidelines and pretty soon buyers would take an interest and we’d have a market again. That’s what I think!

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*** But, I am serious -this is tongue-in-cheek. I do not want the FEDs knocking on my door with the cuffs! ***

Aloha, Mike

RE/MAX Pacific
On Island: 885-5557
Toll Free: 800-500-4895
My “Sell” Phone: 808-896-1943

MikeSells.com
Mike@MikeSells.com

HPA Dudes Reign Supreme!

It was a good day for Hawaii Preparatory Academy (HPA) and these young men- stud muffins all.

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Zack Greenbaum, Ikaika Cecil, Keanu Yamamoto and Kealii Cecil

Douglas Yamamoto of Waikoloa has been coaching these guys for years and doing an incredible job of it if based only on their showing in this tournament alone!

Consider the venue. It’s the biggest beach volleyball tournament in the US and these guys were awesome! Thirteen year olds Zack Greenbaum and Ikaika Cecil took 1st place in the 14-and under doubles division. Thirteen year old Keanu Yamamoto and 16-year old Kealii Cecil finished second in the boys doubles in the 18-and-under division at the Seaside Beach Volleyball Tournament held in August in Seaside, Oregon. This tournament is no ‘Girly-boy’ outing, to borrow from the Govinator, but features more than 650 teams playing on 90 courts and the competition is fierce. Look for big things from all of these guys in the future!

Aloha, Mike

RE/MAX Pacific
On Island: 885-5557
Toll Free: 800-500-4895
My “Sell” Phone: 808-896-1943
MikeSells.com
Mike@MikeSells.com

Go Kohala Chargers!

This Sunday, September 9th, will officially kick off this years POP WARNER FOOTBALL Season. This weeks game will be held at the Old Kona Airport.

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Though participants have been practicing since the beginning of August completing hours of practice and training like crazy, they’ve all earned their pads, helmets and uniforms and are excited to get out there and charge, or as my son puts it,

We’re ready to rumble!”

Look for the bright gold, black & white uniforms, representing Kohala’s finest boys & girls ranging in ages from 8 through 15.

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There are three separate divisions depending on a child’s age and weight. My son Nalukea, is in the Jr. Pee Wee’s division (youngest of all) which ranges from ages 8 through 10 and 60-105 lbs. There is an “older, lighter” exception for children up to 11 years old and 85 lbs.

The next age & weight group, also in the Pee Wee’s division is made up of children ranging from 9 through 11 years old and 75-120 lbs. with the “older, lighter” exception up to age 12 and 100 lbs.

Next is the oldest, heaviest and usually most experienced bunch of players, who have made their way up the ladder and fall under the Midgets division. Their ages range from 11 through 14 and 105-160 lbs, with the “older, lighter” exception up to age 15 and 140 lbs.

Last but not least are the vibrant & lively Cheerleaders who fall under the same age requirements as their participating division without any weight limits. I often enjoy standing by and watching them practice. They are as disciplined and athletic as the football players!

Association President Mike Matsu, board members, coaches, assistants & parents are all excited to present the Kohala Chargers very first Jr. Pee Wee’s division ever. They’ve always had participants for the older divisions but the board was determined to take on the time consuming & expensive task of starting a division for the youngest kids. These very patient and dedicated men and women are exceptional individuals who donate many, many hours of their time preparing all of our children for game day, all the while instilling good morals and sportsmanship.

But it’s not all fun and games. I’ve spent many practices watching as these kids get conditioned and trained.

It’s a process which starts with a vigorous training period of daily practices until the required 20 hours are completed by each child in order to get certified by the Big Island Pop Warner Federation Conference”

says President, Mike Matsu. Not to mention all of the paperwork, required doctor appointments, etc., prior to any practices, as well as the funds needed in order to have and complete a successful football season. And, these kids have to maintain at least a 2.0 grade point average in order to participate which is enforced with periodic grade checks. And, I understand from Association President, Mike Matsu that a grade check will take place next week.

The Kohala Charger’s Midgets were the West Side Champions last season along with the Midget Cheerleaders.

With 100 participants making up the Kohala Chargers entire team, it’s an expensive sport which calls for tons of fundraising and also generous donations from the public.

Please help support our Keiki in staying positive, healthy and in control by donating your time or monetary support for a GREAT program. Inquiries or donations can be made to Association President Mike Matsu by email at mmikki2317@yahoo.com or by phoning him at (808) 889-5910. Together we can all make a difference!

On behalf of the Board Members, Volunteers, Parents and Participating Children we thank you and look forward to stomping our way through another season! GO CHARGERS!

Until next time, dream BIG and set goals!

Aloha,
Heidi K. Perreira ;o)

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In Hawaii:885-5557
Toll Free: 800-500-4895
My “Sell” Phone: 808-987-8299
MikeSells.com

Ono Grinds in Waimea!

Lilikoi Cafe has been around now for a little more than a year and it’s still very good!
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You know how when a new place opens everyone falls all over themselves to give the best service and put out the best tasting meals they can -as it should be. But how many times are we disappointed a few weeks down the road when the service may have slipped, the quality or fresh factor just isn’t what it used to be, portions have gotten skimpy and maybe even the prices have crept up too? Now I’ll be the first person to admit the restaurant business has got to be one of the toughest, but you know it’s true. It happens a lot.

Having said that, I can say with pleasure “it just ain’t so for LILIKOI CAFE”. I probably slide by there a couple times a week.
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It’s around the back of the Parker Ranch Center, so don’t miss it. You have to go past the post office and around between the YMCA and the Kahilu Theater, then keep your eyes open for the bright yellow umbrellas and all the contented diners at the outdoor tables. If you dwaddle and are not too obvious you can decide what you want to eat by taking in what looks good on everyone’s plate as you walk by!

John and Frances Lorda, the friendly, hard working proprietors, have created a wonderful menu lilikoi-cafe-menu.pdf with breakfast, lunch and delectable- to die for, dessert selections. No lie, like broke da mout Three Berry Cobbler or Rice Pudding -home made for sure!

So be sure to try it out next time you’re in town. You won’t be sorry, in fact you’re likely to be hooked!

That’s my Tip of the Day and I’m sticking to it!
happyfaceunderpalm.jpg

Aloha, Mike

On Island: 885-5557
Toll Free: 800-500-4895
My “Sell” Phone: 808-896-1943
MikeSells.com
WestHawaiiBlog.com